The Football Academy and Defoe indie falls victim to market conditions

Jermain Defoe film Zig Zag

Zig Zag is to shut its production arm, which has become insolvent after producing more than 1,000 hours of original programming over a 25-year period. 

An administrator has been appointed to oversee the closure of Zig Zag Productions, which will result in six employees being made redundant. Zig Zag’s other companies, Zig Zag Holdings and Zig Zag Media Rights, will continue trading via a restructure. The media rights company handles the true indie’s distribution and IP elements of its business.

The indie, founded in 1999 by Danny Fenton, is understood to have had three shows initially greenlit last year, worth a combined £4.5m. These were subsequently indefinitely delayed as result of buyers reacting to extremely tough market conditions. 

The news of Zig Zag closing its production business was first reported by Deadline.  

In a statement, Fenton said: “Due to well-publicised market conditions and a global slowdown of commissioning, we are in the unenviable position of restructuring our group of companies and, as a result, placing Zig Zag Productions into an insolvency process. 

“I’m incredibly proud of Zig Zag Productions’ 25-year history and the award-winning programming we have produced during that time and sorry that we weren’t able to weather the storm. I’d like to place on record my thanks to all the staff and partners in the industry who have been on this journey with us.” 

Zig Zag is understood to have been hamstrung by its size and structure. It is a true indie without the backing of a larger parent and faced overheads such as office and staff costs that some smaller companies have been able to shed.  

It was behind football shows including Sky Max’s Player Pranks and The Next Jamie Vardy, as well as documentary Defoe, about the life and career of the former England striker Jermain Defoe.  

It has also produced BBC3’s Stacey Dooley: Face to Face with the Arms Dealers and Fox and ITV2’s fact ent format I Wanna Marry Harry, in which a group of American women were led to believe that they were competing for the affections of Prince Harry.  

Zig Zag is the latest in a string of recent high profile indie casualties of the commissioning slowdown, including Great Scott Media, Topical Television, Youngest Media, Icon Films and RDF.

This article was originally published on our sister site Broadcast.